Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sadie's Chili

The other day I got a hankering for some chili. I don't have a recipe that I absolutely love, so I just decided to make it up as I went along. It turned out perfect! Exactly how I like it, and therefore, I dubbed it Sadie's Chili.
I also think it's a great food storage recipe. I used lots of my canned food storage in it. I always love running across a great food storage recipe.

Sadie's Chili

2 pounds ground beef
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
Two 15-oz cans tomato sauce
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes

In a large pot, cook the beef, garlic, and onion over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Drain off fat.
Pour in the tomato sauce, spices, salt, and water. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occassionally.
After an hour, combine the cornmeal with 1/2 cup water in a small bowl. Stir together with a fork. Dump the mixture into the chili. Stir well. Cook for 15 more minutes.
Stir in beans and Rotel tomatoes. Cook 15 more minutes.
Serve with cheese and sour cream.

You may be able to dump everything in a crockpot and cook all day. I'll have to try it and see how it works. That would be a nice option, although this wasn't hard to make at all.
Too make it even more food storage friendly, use deydrated onions and canned garlic.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Harry Potter's Butterbeer

We have been reading the Harry Potter series as a family and when we finish a book, we have a party and watch the movie. We finished the second one a few weeks ago, and had a Harry Potter Party complete with Butterbeer and Magic Wands (chocolate dipped pretzel rods with sprinkles). I found the recipe for Butterbeer from Gourmet Mom on the Go and it was fantastic!! It's really rich, but so delicious. My kids loved it, and so did I. I halved the recipe with great success. Unless you are preparing it for a large group, I would recommend halving the recipe.

Harry Potter's Butterbeer

16 ounces butterscotch ice cream topping.
8 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon rum extract, optional8 cans Cream Soda (12 ounces each, room temperature)
1 cup heavy whipping cream (for topping)

Directions:In a large pot, combine butterscotch ice cream topping, butter, salt and vinegar. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture just starts to bubble.
Remove from heat and add heavy whipping cream and rum extract (optional).
Scoop out ¼ cup of butterscotch mixture and place in a medium bowl. Place in fridge for 5-10 mintues to cool. When cool, pour in 1 cup heavy whipping cream and beat until thickened (you do not have to beat it to stiff peaks, leave it foamy!:)). Set aside.
Pour soda into pot of butterscotch mixture. If mixture is too cold, heat for a few minutes on the stove over medium heat. To serve, pour into mugs and top with whipped cream.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Tasty Frosting Recipe

My 8 year old daughter has been very interested in cooking lately. We had a lazy, relaxing afternoon today and I asked her what she would like to bake. She promptly said, "Cake with Blue Frosting". I had been eyeing that flour based frosting recipe ever since it floated around the food blogging world, but never had a chance to try it. I was so excited to finally get my chance.
First of all, I was leery of a flour based frosting, and also granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar, but willing to give it a try since I've heard rave reviews. The consistency was similar to buttercream but with a more whipped cream feel to it. I was so excited to taste it.
My daughter and I both agreed it was scrumptious!! And not that much harder to make than regular buttercream. This recipe is definitely a winner in my book. Yum!
*I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen.

Best Frosting Ever
  • 5 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If you're in a hurry, place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Mystery Dinner

If you've never had a mystery dinner before, than you are missing out. It had been so long since I had a mystery dinner, that when I saw this cute Valentine themed one, I just knew thats what I wanted to do for our Valentine's Day Dinner. I found the idea and the menu downloads from Gourmet Mom on the Go.
Here's how it works. You give a menu to each of your "guests". They get to choose 3 things for each course of the meal. After you have everyone's marked menu, you bring out one course at a time and watch the giggles and laughter begin. Each item on the menu has a made up silly name, so you never know what you are going to get.
Maddy's first course was a spoon, pasta sauce, and a mini cupcake. She thought it was so funny. Libby got an ice cream sundae, a drink, and ranch for her first course, and she erupted in giggles. She had to eat her sundae with her fingers as she didn't have utensils yet. The funniest part was that all 3 of my kids ordered the actual pasta noodles for the last course, so they couldn't figure out what the pasta sauce was for. It was hilarious. It was so much fun to do, and so much fun to watch their reactions. I can't wait to have more Mystery Dinners.
I had my items all lined before hand, so it would be easy to serve courses in a timely manner. The kids loved having individual containers for each menu item.I changed my menu here and there from what Gourmet Mom had just to fit our family better, but you could play around and completely change it up. Here is what our menu consisted of:

Puppy Love: Strawberry Soda
Cupids Arrow: Ranch Dressing
Love Trouble: Mini cupcake
Rising Love: Garlic Bread
Melted Hearts: Pasta Sauce
Angels Coiffure: Angel Hair Pasta
Kissing & Hugging: Spoon
Girls Best Friend: Carrots
Persuader: Fork
Cold Shoulder: Ice Cream Sundae
Heart Breaker: Croutons and bacon bits
Snuggles: Salad
Lots of Pick up lines: Shredded Cheese

I've always loved Valentine's Day. I think it is wonderful to have a day set aside to show the people you love how much you care. There are so many fun treats to make and fun games to play. I love watching my kids eyes light up when they open their Valentine Bags. This year was sad for me to be without my sweetie, but I think we'll make up for it when he gets home. You don't have to get flowers or chocolates or presents to love Valentine's Day. You just have to give your heart, and feel the love in return.
My favorite part is reading my homemade Valentine's from my kids. My oldest wrote everyone poems this year, and they were adorable.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Valentine's Day Lunch

I really love Valentine's Day. It is a chance for me to show those that I love how much I love them. This year, all I have heard from people is whining and complaining about how much they hate the holiday. It really makes me sad. Even if I did not receive one valentine or flowers or chocolates or anything (which I won't this year because my sweet hubby is gone) I would still love the holiday... because it's not about me... it's about the people I love. I've heard the arguement a million times from people who say they don't need a day to show people they love them because they can show them every day of the year... but honestly, who does that? I think it's wonderful to set aside a day to ponder and think about our loved ones and the blessing they are in our lives. I always make my mom and dad, sisters and brothers, neices and nephews and anyone else I feel inclined, homemade Valentine's and send them in the mail. And in so doing, it not only brightens up their day, but it reminds me how lucky I am to be blessed with so many people I love and adore in my life. Okay, I'll step off my soapbox now. I just wanted to share my feelings about a great holiday. And on with this cute lunch.

My kids loved this lunch I made for them. It was quick, easy, and they licked their plates clean. I used heart cookie cutters to cut out hearts from pickled beet slices and chicken patties. My kids are weird and absolutely love beets. I love it because they are healthy. And of course, lunch wouldn't be complete without Valentine sugar cookies!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Mice

I'm not sure if this qualifies as food, but I thought it was such a cute idea, and I wanted to post it where I could remember it each Valentine's day. Looking at archives of my favorite blogs is such a fun thing to do. Sometimes I find my favorite recipes when the blogger was just starting out.
These Valentine mice were a cinch to make and my kids absolutely loved making their own. My 8 year old loved it so much she said she wanted to make 27 mice for every person in her class!!
I didn't go out and buy supplies for this craft. I just used what I had in my craft box, and they turned out cute as can be. We used Candy Cane Hershey Kisses. Delicious!

Valentine Mice
  • Wrapped Hershey’s Kisses in any color
  • Construction paper, felt or craft foam
  • Craft glue
  • Black thread, yarn or ribbon
  • Small black pom-poms
  • Small wiggle eyes
  • Scissors

Creating The Hershey Kiss Mouse

The mouse ears and feet can be made from white, pink or red construction paper, felt or craft foam. Cut out 2 hearts that are about 1-2 inches tall. Glue the “ears” between the flat sides of two Hershey Kisses. Glue the feet on the bottam. You can also use glue dots or even double stick tape to put the mouse together.

Next, cut the paper tag off the kiss at one end of the mouse. This will be the face and the other side with the paper tag intact will be the mouse tail. Although, you can glue on a yarn or ribbon tail if you prefer.

Glue the google eyes onto the mouse face. Cut out a few small strips of black thread to make the whiskers. Then place a small drop of glue on the end of the kiss to attach the whiskers and nose. Place the black thread whiskers on the glue first and then the pom-pom nose on top of that. If it is easier, you may tie the thread onto the end of the kiss rather than gluing it. Then just glue the pom-pom nose on top of the whiskers.

Other Options For Making The Chocolate Mouse

Yarn or ribbon can be used as a tail in place of the paper tag.

In addition, if you are lacking supplies or have very small children trying to make these, you can substitute permanent marker for the google eyes and glitter glue for the nose instead of the pom-pom.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oreo Truffle Surprise Cookies

I found these treasures on Picky Palate and have been aching to try them for some time. She always has the best ideas. These cookies are absolutely delicious. I had to give most of them away because I knew I would sit and devour all of them in one sitting. My kids were thrilled with the surprise middle. I put the full instructions here, but I used a short cut when I made them. Instead of rolling all the truffle mixture into balls, I just scooped some up, rounded it and then formed the cookie dough around it. It saved a bit of time.

Oreo Truffle Surprise Cookies

2 sticks softened butter

3/4 Cup granulated sugar

3/4 Cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla

3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 Cups chocolate chips

21 Oreos

3 oz softened cream cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer beat butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined.

2. Place flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl; mix. Add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.

3. Place Oreos into a food processor or blender, mix until finely ground. Place into a bowl and mix with cream cheese until dough forms. Take 1 teaspoon of dough and roll into a ball. Continue until all dough has been rolled, you should get 36 balls, enough for all of the cookie dough.

4. With a large cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Press a little hole into center of dough and put Oreo Truffle inside, cover cookie dough around Oreo Truffle so it’s hidden in the middle. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until edges of cookies just begin to turn golden brown. Remove and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Breaded Garlic Chicken in Lemon Butter Sauce

I found this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe, and bookmarked quite awhile back. It turned out to be surprisingly simple, and very tasty. I was a little bit nervous about the egg coating because it seemed so thick, but it was delicious and did not have an egg taste at all. If you prefer you can jiggle and shake the chicken after you dip it in the egg mixture so the coating is lighter. I liked the thick coating... and surprise, surprise, my 4 year old loved it!

Breaded Garlic Chicken in Lemon Butter Sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup seasoned flour (1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper)
5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon parsley flakes or 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from about 1 lemon
3 eggs
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons butter

Place the seasoned flour in a large gallon-size ziploc bag. Set aside. In a shallow pie plate, beat the eggs until mixed and add the Parmesan cheese. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a large skillet, melt one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Let it begin to heat and sizzle while you prepare the chicken but be careful not to let the butter burn and turn brown.

Put the four chicken breasts in the bag with the seasoned flour, close the bag, and shake to coat the chicken in the flour. One by one, take the chicken out of the bag and dip into the egg/Parmesan mixture. Place the chicken carefully in the skillet with the hot oil/butter. Repeat with the other chicken breasts. Let the chicken cook on the first side, without moving or flipping the chicken, for 1-2 minutes until a nice, golden crust has formed. Carefully, using a wide spatula, flip the chicken and let it continue to cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side until it is golden brown. The chicken will flip easiest if it has had time to sizzle and cook to form a nice crust.

Remove the chicken to a 9X13-inch pan. Set aside while you make the sauce.

In the same skillet that you browned the chicken, melt the remaining four tablespoons butter. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, and parsley. Simmer the sauce for 1-2 minutes, stirring and scraping up any browned bits that were on the bottom of the skillet.

Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken breasts and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over noodles, rice or potatoes.